Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

NCSA will be the global central hub for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project, processing, archiving, and serving the terabytes of data that will be collected every night of the decade-long survey.

The proposed Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will use a massive 8.4-meter telescope and 3-gigapixel camera to produce a wide-field astronomical survey of the universe. LSST will collect 20 terabytes of raw image data every night, which will be processed at NCSA in near-real time to produce alert notifications of new and unexpected astronomical events. The data will be reprocessed annually to create a 500-petabyte data archive by the end of the 10-year mission.

The quality and volume of this data will be unprecedented in optical/IR astronomy, and will be used to explore a wide range of astrophysical questions, ranging from detecting exploding supernovae, finding potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids, exploring transient phenomena, and probing the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter.

Developers at NCSA are working to create software for efficient automated data processing. This software will continually process and archive the incoming data, marking it available to astronomers around the world.

NCSA also will be responsible for all the computational power the project will require to handle such massive amounts of data, and will operate the LSST data centers.